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Equality and Liberty in American Society

            Equality and liberty is desirable in contemporary American society but you can't have both. Americans today tend to define liberty as the freedom for people to do what they want. We also tend to believe that liberty is important to personal fulfillment and happiness. However the widely accepted principle of freedom is that we are free to do whatever we want as long as we do not have negative impacts on other people's freedom. The statement "All men are created equal" which can be found in The Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson was all about America's freedom and rights from the hands of the King of Great Britain. Jefferson focus was only on white man as he made such statement that "All men are created equal" excluding black man and women who at that time were viewed as inferior to white man. However The Declaration of Sentiments written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, added to Jefferson's statement in contradiction that "both men and women are created equal". In view of Stanton's contradiction, Frederick Douglass also in his oration points out how blacks try to demand both their equality and liberty from their slave masters; but the view of Thomas Jefferson seems quite different in American society today. Although no two persons are truly equal, they are considered equal under the law. All Americans have the same fundamental rights but that does not make them equal, some may be poorer than others vice visa, and some may have cultural backgrounds different from the majority thus making it impossible to have both equality and freedom.
             There are several situations where equality and liberty did not work together because they contradict each other. In The Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, he demanded the freedom of all men but blacks and women were excluded. At the end of his essay, Jefferson stated "we pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and other sacred honor" (Jefferson 229).

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